Have you ever encountered the ‘This Device Is Being Used By Another Application’ error in Windows? This is a common error that is generally encountered when trying to play video or audio while using an HDMI cable.
There can be many reasons that might be causing this issue, such as an issue with the audio device, third-party apps, corrupted system files, and others. In this article, we will guide you with the troubleshooting steps to help fix ‘This device is being used by another application’ in Windows.
Fix ‘This Device Is Being Used By Another Application’ Error
Unable to play audio or video on your PC because of the ‘This device is being used by another application’ error? Given below are some ways to fix it-
1. Disconnect Accessories Connected to your PC
The first thing you can do is disconnect all the accessories from your PC. For instance, if you are using accessories like monitors, headphones, or any Bluetooth device, then disconnect them and see if you are still facing this issue or not.
2. Connect Device Properly
If you are facing this issue while using some input/output device, then ensure you connect the device properly to your PC. If it is a wired device, then unplug the wire from the PC and reconnect it. If it is a Bluetooth device, then you can connect it by following the steps given below-
- Press Windows + I key combo to open the Settings app.
- On the left sidebar, click on Bluetooth & devices, and then click on Add Device.
- Now, click on Bluetooth and then follow the on-screen instructions to connect the Bluetooth device to your PC properly.
3. Run Audio Troubleshooter
Another thing that you can try doing is running the audio troubleshooter. To do so, follow the steps given below-
- Firstly, head to the Windows 11 Settings app.
- Under the System tab, click on Troubleshoot option.
- Now, click on Other Troubleshooters.
- Now, click on the Run button next to the Playing Audio.
- Follow the on-screen instructions to run audio troubleshooters and fix the issue.
4. Check Which App is Using the Sound
If the sound is being used by another app then also you may encounter this issue. You can do this with the help of the volume mixer.
- Press Windows + R key combo and then type sndvol and press OK to open the Volume Mixer.
- You will now see all the apps that are using the speaker. If any unwanted app is using the speaker, then you will have to close that app.
- Press Ctrl + Shift + Esc key combo to open the Task Manager.
- Ensure you are on the Processes tab.
- Here, right-click on the app that was using the speaker, and then click on End Task to close the app even from the background.
5. Disable Apps from Taking Executive Control of the Device
If you are facing the ‘This device is being used by another application’ issue on your PC then you can try disabling apps from taking executive control of the device. To do so, follow the steps given below-
- Press the Windows + I keyboard shortcut and this will open the Settings app on your PC.
- Under the System tab on the left sidebar, click on the Sound option.
- Scroll down to the Advanced section, and click on More Sound Settings.
- Now, right-click on your speaker or headphone, and then click on Properties.
- Under the Advanced tab, uncheck the checkbox for Allow applications to take exclusive control of this device.
- Now, click on Apply and then on OK to save the changes.
6. Set your Speaker/Headphone as Default Device
You can try setting the speaker or headphones you are trying to use as the default device to fix this issue. You can do so by following the steps given below-
- Press Windows key and then click on the Settings app icon.
- Click on System on the left sidebar and then on the right side click on the Sound option.
- Now, click on the More Sound Settings option here.
- Right-click on the device you are trying to use and then click on Set as Default Device.
7. Restart Audio Service
Many times the issue might be encountered due to some issues with the audio service. You can restart the audio service by following the steps given below-
- Press Windows + R key combo, type Services.msc, and press Enter.
- In the Services window, search for Windows Audio; right-click on it and then click on Restart to restart the service.
8. Fix Corrupted System Files
Performing the SFC scan will fix all the corrupted system files and all the issues caused due to them. To do so, follow the steps given below-
- Run Command Prompt with administrative privileges on your PC.
- In the terminal window, type the following command and execute it by pressing Enter-
- sfc /scannow
- Once the scan is completed, all the corrupted files will be repaired.
9. Update Audio Drivers
You must ensure that the audio drivers are updated. This is just to keep audio devices running smoothly. To update audio drivers, follow the steps given below-
- Press Windows + X key combo and then from the menu that opens up, click on Device Manager.
- Double-click the Audio inputs and outputs option to expand the list.
- Now, right-click on your audio device from the list and click on Update Driver.
- From the next window, click on Search Automatically for Drivers. This will install the latest drivers from the internet on your PC.
10. Ensure the Device is Allowed on your PC
If you keep on getting the ‘This device is being used by another application’ error on your Windows PC, then it might be because the device is not allowed on your PC.
Check if the device is allowed on your PC or not; if not, then you will have to allow the device. You can do so by following the steps given below-
- Open the Settings app on your PC.
- Click on the System tab, and then click on the Sound option.
- Under the Output section, select the device you are trying to play the audio.
- Under the General, you will see an option called Audio. If it has the Don’t Allow button next to it, then it means the device is allowed for audio. If you see Allow button, then that means the device is not allowed; click on Allow to allow the device.
If you cannot play audio or video on your device due to the ‘This device is being used by another application’ error on your PC, then this article will help you solve it. The troubleshooting steps that we have listed above should help troubleshoot the issue that you encountered. We hope you don’t face issues with the steps mentioned above, but if you do, you can comment in the comment section below.